The Virginia Constitution makes no specific guarantee of the right to counsel for those charged with a crime as is provided in the federal Constitution, but the Supreme Court of Appeals has declared this to be a fundamental right within the Virginia Bill of Rights. Such right is intended to apply to all persons regardless of their financial status, so if a person charged with a felony proceeds in forma pauperis, it is the duty of the court to appoint counsel to defend him. The right to court-appointed counsel has been extended to persons being questioned concerning a felony, to those being tried for a felony, to those effecting an appeal for a felony conviction, and to juveniles during confinement hearings in state juvenile courts." However, it has never been extended to those charged with a misdemeanor in Virginia.
Right To Court-Appointed Counsel For Misdemeanants In Virginia,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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